The city of Seattle lost a lot of things it might never get back when the NBA’s Supersonics took off and relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008.
But thanks to one NFL star, Seattle has at least been able to hang onto the spirit of Sonics legend Gary Payton.
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is, like Payton, an accomplished athlete who has become known as much for his trash-talking as for his talent. For the latter, he was voted No. 20 on the NFL Network’s ranking of the league’s top 100 players for 2016.
On his way to a third Pro Bowl selection and a spot on the AP All-Pro second team, Sherman posted 50 tackles and two interceptions last season, helping the Seahawks advance to the divisional round of the playoffs where they lost to eventual NFC champion Carolina. In a pair of head-to-head matchups with superstar receivers Antonio Brown (Steelers) and Dez Bryant (Cowboys), Sherman held the pair to six and two receptions, respectively.
At the same time, Sherman is known as the league’s biggest talker. Not only does he talk smack to opponents on the field, he’ll also put the NFL league office on blast about its policies, he entertains fans with his comic flair, and he keeps the media interested in press conferences whether he’s being playful or serious.
Sherman was widely considered the NFL’s best cornerback not long ago. He may have lost that spot in the eyes of many people — some say to Josh Norman, some say to Patrick Peterson, some say back to Darrelle Revis — but he’s still one of the league’s premier defenders.
You can watch the NFL Network segment on Sherman HERE, and check out a highlight reel below: